Microsoft’s Lack of New Products

Writes Robert Scoble (via Rahul Dave):

Tell me again why companies with one, two, or maybe a handful of employees can come out with products like Blogger, Radio UserLand, Movable Type, TopStyle but the 45,000 employees of Microsoft can’t figure out how to upgrade Office or Windows or many of its other products with many new features that anyone is willing to pay money for?

I think Microsoft has a leadership problem. What’s the problem? They’ve forgotten to ship new things once in a while. Tell me again, what’s the thing that Microsoft has shipped in the past year that’s really new and has radical new features?

Windows XP? It’s more than a year old now and it really didn’t have a radical new feature set over Windows 2000. Xbox? Oh yeah. Anything else? PocketPC? Come on.

The problem isn’t with the evangelists. We’re out here. The problem is we don’t have anything new to talk about. So, we’re going elsewhere. RedHat is shipping a new version. Mozilla is shipping a new browser. Macromedia is shipping a FrontPage-killer. ActiveWords has a better way to interface with your computer. Radio and MoveableType and all the other blog tools are giving us a better way to build a Web site.

Interesting points. Maybe the big companies like Microsoft think that unless they create something which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue (or unless they spend millions), it is just not worth it. Perhaps, also the fear of failure – what will peope think of us if we do something this small. On the other hand, the tiny companies and entrepreneurs have little to lose. In fact, they have to think differently, they have no legacy of the past.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.